Spark curiosity, not fear. Reducing Mathematics Anxiety.

Posted in
February 26, 2024

Reducing the Impacts of Math(s) Anxiety!

Mathematics anxiety is pervasive, affecting countless schoolchildren worldwide. It’s more than just a fear of numbers; it’s a debilitating cycle that stifles learning and potential. But fear not, for where there’s understanding, there’s hope. Let’s delve into the depths of mathematics anxiety, explore its origins, and unveil strategies to ignite curiosity and diminish fear.

Understanding Math(s) Anxiety:

Mathematics anxiety manifests in subtle ways, from self-deprecating remarks like “I’m not a math person” to outright avoidance of mathematical tasks. The consequences extend beyond the classroom, hampering concentration and hindering progress across subjects. For a deeper dive into math(s) anxiety, visit here.

Origins of Math(s) Anxiety:

Parents and teachers can unknowingly perpetuate mathematics anxiety through their attitudes and teaching methods. Well-meaning parental reassurances of “math not being important” or “nevermind, you’re just not a math person” have disastrous effects. Similarly, teachers ill-equipped to teach math may inadvertently instill fear through outdated methods and punitive practices.

Addressing Math(s) Anxiety:

It’s time to rewrite the narrative surrounding mathematics. Parents and teachers hold the key to unlocking a world of mathematical curiosity. Here’s how:

Parents’ Role:

  • Reflect on your own mathematical journey and challenge negative beliefs.
  • Engage in everyday math activities with your child to make learning fun and relevant.
  • Enhance your own mathematical skills through interactive online platforms.
  • Foster open communication with teachers to create a supportive learning environment.
  • Ensure your involvement is positive. Here’s how.

Teachers’ Role:

  • Cultivate your own mathematical confidence and seek professional development opportunities.
  • Create a safe space for students to express mathematical ideas in familiar language.
  • Embrace formative assessment to gauge student progress and address learning gaps.
  • Redefine success by valuing effort and progress over right and wrong answers.
  • Make mathematics enjoyable and applicable to real-world scenarios. 
  • Try to spark curiosity and get student buy-in wherever possible. Perhaps you could use examples relevant to students, introduce controversy, invite some wrong answers.
  • Encourage positive parental involvement. Here are some ideas.


Math(s) anxiety may be common, but we can address it. By fostering a growth mindset and reshaping attitudes towards mathematics, we can empower students to embrace the beauty of numbers and unlock their full potential. Together, let’s spark curiosity, not fear, and pave the way for a generation of confident problem-solvers and innovators.

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